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Drilon urges govt, MILF to submit draft Bangsamoro Law before August ends

Posted On 2014 Aug 13
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CELEBRATING THE SENATE’S 97th ANNIVERSARY. Senate President Franklin M. Drilon addresses Senate officials and employees during the Senate’s flag raising ceremony Monday, October 21. Drilon took the opportunity to thank everyone for what he calls a “selfless act” in deciding to forego plans to celebrate the annual Christmas Party in favor of donating the funds to the victims of recent calamities that struck Visayas and Mindanao. The Senate, which is also celebrating its 97th Anniversary, has also decided to allocate the budget for the anniversary to the victims of the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol and Cebu. (MNS photo)

CELEBRATING THE SENATE’S 97th ANNIVERSARY. Senate President Franklin M. Drilon addresses Senate officials and employees during the Senate’s flag raising ceremony Monday, October 21. Drilon took the opportunity to thank everyone for what he calls a “selfless act” in deciding to forego plans to celebrate the annual Christmas Party in favor of donating the funds to the victims of recent calamities that struck Visayas and Mindanao. The Senate, which is also celebrating its 97th Anniversary, has also decided to allocate the budget for the anniversary to the victims of the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol and Cebu. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senate President Franklin Drilon on Monday urged the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to submit to Congress the final draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before the end of the month.

Drilon said the sooner the draft is sent to the Senate and House of Representatives, the better as they will be able to discuss, deliberate and approve it before the year ends or in the first quarter of 2015.

Sana po maibigay sa Kongreso at Senado yung proposed Basic Law by the end of the August para magkaroon kami ng sapat na panahon para talakayin at bago po matapos ang taon o first quarter of next year, amin na pong matapos itong panukalang batas,” he said during a news forum in Manila.

The government and MILF peace panels, however, have yet to come up with an agreed version of the BBL even after 10 days of meeting in Davao. The panels said they agreed to finish the draft by August 18, 2014.

Aming hinihiling sa Malacañang at sa MILF na sa lalong madaling panahon e isumite na sa Kongreso itong proposed draft ng Bangsamoro dahil lalo pong tumatagal ay nahihirapan po ang Kongreso upang ipasa ito,” said Drilon.

He said if the MILF and the government will be able to come up with the final version by the end of the month, they will double time to approve it.

“I think the first quarter of next year is a reasonable period within which to pass this and have it ratified in 2015, have the election take place in May 2016 and have the new Bangsamoro Juridical entity in place by July 1, 2016,” he said.

‘Non-passage not an option’

The Senate leader expressed confidence that Congress will be able to pass the BBL on time.

“The schedule is a little tight but we will work on it because non-passage of the basic law is not an option. Kailangan po magawa natin ito para sa kapayapaan at kaunlaran ng  Mindanao because peace and security is a basic foundation upon which progress can be achieved and poverty can be addressed in Mindanao,” he said.

He said the Filipino people should do its part as he noted that the international community has pushed for peace and progress in Mindanao.

“The international community has been unselfish in assisting us in having this agreement signed. Japan, Great Britain, Turkey, United States, and a few others. They have been very enthusiastic and supportive of this process so we cannot afford to fail here,” he said.

Drilon said the Senate will prioritize BBL and also ensure that it will be “within the four corners of the Constitution.”

He said the draft BBL will be referred to the Committee on Local Government headed by Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., jointly with the Committee on Peace and Unification headed by Sen. Teofisto Guingona III.

“Sen. Bongbong Marcos has assured me that he will give it priority, that issues as regards the question on possible constitutional issues, he will resolve in favor of its constitutionality because ultimately this will be brought to Supreme Court,” he said.

“Any doubt on the constitutionality will be brought to Supreme Court so it is there that the real debate will take place on the constitutional issues that could be raised in the course of our working on the Basic Law,” said Drilon. (MNS)

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